Rider of the Year 2013: Marc Marquez

December 27, 2013
By Motorcycle USA Staff
It’s not accurate to say Marc Marquez was a total surprise in 2013. MotoGP rolled out the red carpet for its reigning Moto2 champ, literally rewriting the rules and allowing Marquez to compete on the Repsol Honda (MotoGP rookies had previously been barred from competing their first-year for factory squads). What is a surprise, however, and what earns Marc Marquez 2013 Rider of the Year honors, is how the young Spaniard not only lived up to the hype – he completely exceeded it.

They reached their top of their respective championships within a month of each other. They were born one day apart. Are Brad Baker and Marc Marquez twins from different mothers  Will we see some wicked sibling rivalry in Barcelona on January 11
The future of MotoGP, Marc Marquez didn’t waste any time in the premier class as the Moto2 champion stepped up and set the pace en route to a title-winning rookie campaign.

Marquez proved competitive in the premier class from day one. During the year he repeatedly bested reigning champ Jorge Lorenzo en route to a title-winning rookie campaign and at 20 years of age became the youngest-ever MotoGP champion.

The success did not come without controversy, however, with plenty of crashes during the year. Marquez was also criticized for his aggressive style, most notably by Lorenzo after the two made contact in Jerez. A second incident, between Marquez and his HRC teammate Dani Pedrosa, doomed the latter rider’s title hopes when he promptly crashed after faint contact with Marquez severed a traction-control sensor. Marquez was punished by race officials on multiple occasions, including being assessed penalty points for ignoring caution flags at Silverstone and the aforementioned Pedrosa incident. He also received the black flag at Phillip Island for not pitting early enough to complete a mandated swap of faulty Bridgestone tires (the subsequent DNF delaying Marquez’s championship coronation for the season finale).

But the controversy and penalties are already part of the Marquez mystique. And here is where Marquez’s breakthrough rookie campaign becomes more important than just one rider winning one title. MotoGP has long been dominated by the persona of Valentino Rossi, leaving many to wonder about the series’ fate once The Doctor retires. There will never be another Rossi, but Marquez is Grand Prix’s new superstar and the future face of the sport.